R. Kelly’s federal criminal case in Chicago has attorneys Steve Greenberg and Michael Leonard looking for a way out.
As of Friday night, Greenberg had confirmed reports that the attorneys had requested permission to withdraw from the proceedings. He declined to say anything else at this time.
Greenberg and Leonard also withdrew from Kelly’s New York case last June. Greenberg told CNN at the time that Kelly was “insistent that we work with people who we felt would be rendering in effective assistance as counsel.”
Kelly has been charged by federal prosecutors in Chicago with videotaping himself having sex with underage girls, paying bribe money and threatening witnesses to conceal his crimes.
Kelly was already convicted of sex crimes and racketeering in September in a separate New York sex crimes and racketeering trial. After years of whispers and accusations – and an acquittal in a 2008 child pornography trial – a jury found him guilty on nine counts in the explosive sex New York trafficking trial.
In that case, he could face life in prison.
Kelly was convicted of racketeering. Although it was a single count, the indictment details 14 underlying offenses, including kidnapping, forced labor, sex trafficking, and bribery. The government was required to establish at least two of the fourteen.
Kelly was also charged with eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits the transportation of anyone across state lines for any immoral purpose. He was found guilty.
More than a century ago, the act was named after a United States Representative from Illinois, James Robert Mann.
Coercion and enticement were both alleged in the Mann Act charges.
Among the allegations made during the trial were Kelly’s marriage to the late R&B singer Aaliyah and how a government employee was bribed to obtain a fake ID so Kelly could marry the then-15-year-old after fearing he had gotten her pregnant.
Witnesses described being locked in rooms and having to request permission to leave or use the restroom. Others asserted that Kelly infected them with herpes without disclosing his STD status.
The federal case against the city of Chicago remains pending, according to CBS2.